Ohio School Counselor Certification

There are 1.7 million public school students in Ohio who receive prevention and intervention services from counselors on 3,685 campuses. The primary function of the Ohio school counselor is to promote student success through comprehensive counseling services that address the academic, social, and emotional development of each child.

If you would like to learn more about this profession, visit the Ohio School Counselor Association Resources Page, located here.

Skip down the page to the certification pathway you’re interested in:

Initial Ohio School Counselor Certification

The initial license in Ohio is the Professional Pupil Services license with a school counselor specialization. This license is valid for five (5) years and endorses its holder to provide counseling services to students in kindergarten through grade 12.

Step 1: Educational Requirements

  • Master’s degree in school counseling from a regionally-accredited college/university, such as the following programs:
  • Practicum or internship experience as part of your earned degree

Step 2: Criminal Background Check

Ohio’s Department of Education requires that criminal background checking is completed electronically, which expedites the process. If you reside in Ohio, you will be asked to submit your fingerprints at a Webcheck Location. Your prints will be checked by the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

To find a fingerprint location nearest you, or if you would like more information, visit this website.

Step 3: Examination Requirements

The Ohio Department of Education requires that applicants pass the Ohio Assessments for Educators School Counselor assessment (Exam #040) with a minimum score of 220. This computer-based test includes 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete. The fee to register for the exam is $105.

If you would like more information, or to register for a test date, visit this website.

Step 4: Application Materials Checklist

Your application materials include the following:

  • Completed profile and application on the Ohio Department of Education application portal
  • Official transcripts submitted from each college/university you have attended, including degrees conferred
  • Proof of passing score for the Ohio Assessments for Educators school counseling assessment (#040)
  • $200 application fee

Step 5: Submit Your Application

Your complete application for the Professional Pupil Services certificate with school counseling endorsement is submitted online.

Additional Information

If you have questions about your initial application for school counselor, contact the Office of Educator Licensure at 614-466-3593 during normal business hours. You can also email a specialist at educator.licensure@education.ohio.gov.

Ohio School Counselor Certification Renewal

The school counselor credential is renewed every five (5) years via the online application portal.

The renewal application requires that you submit a new criminal background check using a Webcheck Location. To locate a branch nearest you, visit this website.

Your renewal application packet also includes proof of 18 continuing education units (180 contact hours) and a $200 processing fee, payable online through the application portal.

Additional Assistance

If you would like additional information about your renewal application, email a specialist at educator.licensure@education.ohio.gov.

You can also call the Office of Educator Licensure at 614-466-3593.

Ohio School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

Ohio does not have a reciprocity option for applicants. Persons with valid, current out-of-state school counseling credentials must meet all requirements for an initial Professional Pupil Services certificate with school counseling specialization.

Your out-of-state application packet is submitted online, and includes the following materials:

  • Copy of your current, valid out-of-state school counseling credential
  • You must also submit a verification letter from the university where you earned your graduate degree, on university letterhead, signed by the Dean or Program Head, which indicated the license you are qualified to hold in your training state
  • Proof of passing scores for out-of-state licensure exams
  • If you began your school counseling program (master’s degree or higher) after July 1, 1987, you must pass the Ohio Assessment for Educators School Counselor exam (#040). To register for a test date, visit this website
  • Official transcripts for all colleges/universities you attended
  • Completion of criminal background checking. For more information about out-of-state requirements, visit this webpage
  • $200 application processing fee, payable online

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your out-of-state application, email a specialist at educator.licensure@education.ohio.gov.

You can also call the certification office tollfree at 877-644-6338.

Ohio School Counseling Certification Resources

For resources to assist you with continuing education and other career development opportunities, see the following websites:

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